Microbiology / Virology
The Clinical Microbiology Laboratory provides a full spectrum of tests (ranging from traditional culture to state-of –the-art molecular methods) for the detection of medically important bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses in clinical specimens and provides information about the susceptibility of bacterial agents to select antibiotics. An annual compilation of the antimicrobial susceptibility data for the most significant bacterial isolates is available.
Commonly Ordered Tests
- Acid Fast Bacilli (AFB) Testing
- Culture methods are available for the detection of Mycobacterium species. DNA probes are used for identification of significant organisms. Susceptibility testing is available from the Michigan Department of Community Health for all initial isolates of M. tuberculosis.
- Anaerobic Culture and Microbial Identification
- Special handling and specimen collection procedures are required for anaerobic cultures. Please check with the laboratory. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing is available for significant isolates following consultation with the Microbiology and/or Infectious Diseases staff.
- Bacterial Culture and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing
- Gram stain and microscopic evaluation of clinical specimens are included with most cultures. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing is provided on significant isolates. Rapid tests are available for Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 detection in the urine and Streptococcus pneumoniae antigen detection in the CSF and urine.
- Chlamydia trachomatis Detection
- Detection of Chlamydia trachomatis is by visualization of inclusions in McCoy cells inoculated by the rapid centrifugation-enhanced (shell-vial) culture method. Appropriate specimens include ocular, sputum/respiratory and body fluids. This test cannot be performed on semen. Specimens must be received in M4-RT or UTM viral transport medium.
- Clostridium difficile Toxin Testing
- Testing is performed by very sensitive and specific molecular methods on liquid / semi-solid fecal specimens. The traditional EIA tests are no longer available.
- Comprehensive Viral Cultures
- Specimens other than blood or body fluids must be received in viral transport medium (M4-RT, UTM, UVT). The site from which the specimen was obtained must be listed on the test requisition. Also, if a specific virus or group of viruses is suspected of causing disease in your patient, that information should also be provided on the test requisition. Requests for culture for rubella virus require prior approval from the medical director or technical director.
- Herpes Simplex Virus Detection: Method includes rapid shell-vial culture.
- Varicella-Zoster Virus Detection: Methods include DFA and shell-vial culture.
- Respiratory Virus Detection: influenza A, influenza B, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), adenovirus and parainfluenza virus 1, 2 and 3 are detected by rapid shell-vial culture methods. Rapid antigen testing is available for influenza A and B, and for RSV.
- Enterovirus Detection: Available for fecal, throat, CSF, and other specimens. Typing will only be performed if specifically requested.
- Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Detection: CMV can be isolated from a variety of specimens including blood and amniotic fluid using the shell-vial method.
- Fungus Detection
- Culture methods are used for detection of fungi and Nocardia species. Rapid tests are available for the detection of cryptococcal antigen in serum and CSF specimens. Antifungal susceptibility testing is available by special request only.
- Group A Strep Testing
- Rapid antigen and culture methods are available. Group A cultures are recommended for all negative antigen tests. Limited antimicrobial susceptibility testing is performed on all isolates of Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A Streptococcus) due to resistance to the macrolide class of antibiotics.
- Group B Strep Testing
- The laboratory uses a modified CDC-approved protocol incorporating state-of-the-art molecular and traditional culture-based methods for the detection of Streptococcus agalactiae (Group B Streptococcus) from antepartum screening specimens. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing is performed free of charge on all isolates.
- Mycoplasma/Ureaplasma Testing
- Includes culture detection and identification from urogenital specimens. Does not include detection of Mycoplasma pneumoniae.
- Parasitology Testing
- The laboratory performs specimen concentration and microscopic examination for ova and parasites and will examine blood smears for the presence of blood parasites. A rapid EIA is available to detect Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium species in stool specimens. Special panels are available for detection of parasitic infections in immunocompromised patients.
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